TEEM graphic

Film Series Highlights the Need for Equitable Transportation and Electrification

Published on May 7, 2024

The State of Michigan spends over $6 billion a year on transportation. But are those dollars well spent? Do they really serve the needs of Michigan communities?

A new short-film series from Michigan Toward Equitable Electric Mobility (TEEM) urges elected officials to allocate more money in the state’s budget to the electric vehicle transition and to alternative means of transportation. The Ecology Center is a member of TEEM, a coalition of environmental and grass roots organizations working toward equitable transportation and electrification. 

We reached out to our supporters to give testimony as part of the film series, including our communications work-study from the University of Michigan, Jenna Weihs, and friends of the Ecology Center, Cathy Reischl and Linda Teaman. Excitingly, the film featuring Cathy, who explains why she uses an e-bike for transportation, was submitted to a national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) competition. The winners will be announced soon, stay tuned.   

Jenna Weihs 

Jennifer Weihs (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Cathy Reischl

Cathy Reisch (TEEM) (EPA Video Challenge) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Linda Team

Linda Teaman (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Complete Video Compilation

TEEM Compilation Video from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

About TEEM

TEEM has developed a Values Framework and Platform to evaluate Michigan’s transportation, electrification, and related investments to hold Michigan’s elected officials accountable for putting their words into budget actions. 

Budgets demonstrate our values. The State of Michigan’s investments on and related to transportation and electrification need to meet these values:  

  • Affordable Access for All: Everyone in Michigan should be able to get where they need to go, affordably and reliably. Yet Michigan families spend nearly 1/4 of their entire household budget on their cars and many still struggle to get to work and school. Michigan transportation investments must provide reliable options for people that don't require driving and improve affordability of sustainable mobility.
  • Equity & Justice: The state and federal governments have committed that 40 percent of the benefits of climate and water investments should flow to communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. As a climate mitigation strategy, transportation investments should be prioritized similarly, with a focus on engaging local voices to communicate local needs. 
  • Sustainability: Michigan has committed to be carbon neutral by 2050 including 52% reductions by 2030. Michigan transportation investments must explicitly cut climate pollution by including both electrifying vehicles and providing attractive alternatives to driving. Both are necessary.
  • Health & Safety: Our transportation system should not be killing us. Transportation investments, including road design, multimodality, and manufacturing subsidies, need to substantively and rapidly decrease harm from car crashes and air pollution, especially for kids, elderly, and other vulnerable populations. 
  • Accountability & Responsibility: Our state has a moral and fiscal responsibility to workers, communities and taxpayers to require that state investments and subsidies are allocated through a transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible process and to ensure they are creating or retraining good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and addressing historic racial, environmental and economic inequities whenever possible.

Complete Video Series


Donald Stuckey II (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Ken Miguel-Cipriano (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Bella Mazzarese (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Claire Steigelman (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Patty Fedewa (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Craig Washington (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Juan Shannon (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Lukas Lasecki (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Shelton Rodriguez (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.

Cynthia Bailey (TEEM) from Marcus Thomas on Vimeo.